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The Rouge River Project
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Storm Water ManagementBrief SummaryOverview Description of Storm Water Management in the Rouge WatershedMichigan General Storm Water PermitApplying for a Michigan General Storm Water PermitGuidance Materials for Applying for a General Storm Water PermitPhase II Federal Storm Water RuleSubwatershed Management Planning
Storm Water Management Pilot ProjectsStorm Water Management ReportsRouge Project Presentations on Storm Water Management

Subwatershed Management Planning
for Storm Water Management

The early focus of the Rouge Project was on the control of the 168 CSOs in the older urban core portion of the downstream areas of the Rouge watershed. For a more detailed discussion of the CSO control program of the Rouge Project, click here.

Based upon what was learned in the early days of the Project, the focus became more holistic to consider the impacts from all sources of pollution and use impairments in receiving waters by using the watershed management approach. There is a clear inter-relationship of the pollution sources within a watershed that demands an inter-related approach to a solution in order to achieve water quality standards and associated designated uses within a watershed. A piecemeal approach of focusing only on sources of pollution or a group of sources will not achieve the desired results nor will it achieve the acceptance of the residents of the watershed. The use of the watershed approach therefore has emerged as the most cost-effective and logical approach to water resource management in the Rouge Watershed and elsewhere. For a more detailed discussion of the watershed management aspects of the Rouge Project, click here.

As discussed in greater detail in the "Overview Description of Storm Water Management in the Rouge Watershed", the control of storm water emerged as a major component in the restoration of the Rouge River. An ad hoc Rouge River Storm Water Advisory group developed a storm water control strategy. After review and endorsement of that Strategy by local communities and the Rouge River Steering Committee, the Strategy was implemented.

At the heart of the storm water management approach being used in the Rouge Watershed is the watershed based Michigan General Storm Water Permit. This voluntary permit established the process for developing watershed management plans to address the control of storm water and other sources of pollution.

Subwatershed Advisory Groups
Between January of 1996 and November of 1997, the Rouge Program Office (RPO) together with representatives from the Middle One Subwatershed communities and agencies convened in a series of meetings to produce the Middle One Subwatershed Management Study funded as a pilot study for the Rouge Project. Members of this cooperative group created this study to identify concerns about water quality and quantity within the Middle One subwatershed and develop ideas for management alternatives for the future. Click here to view the final report.

The cooperative group evolved over time because of a common interest in the MDEQ watershed based General Storm Water Permit. With the goal of applying for this Storm Water Permit, members of the original Middle One group reassembled in 1998 and extended invitations to all public agencies that were eligible for coverage under the MDEQ Permit. This group renamed themselves as the Middle One Subwatershed Advisory Group (SWAG).

With its expanded membership, the Middle One SWAG began discussions on the requirements of the Permit, and by the middle of 1999, all of the SWAG members received Certificates of Coverage for the Permit and began to implement their Stormwater Permits to restore and protect the Rouge River.

As stated earlier, three demonstration subwatersheds were selected to examine how a storm water management plan might differ between various areas within the watershed. In addition to the Middle 1 Subwatershed Management Study, a management study was completed for each of the other two demonstration subwatersheds. To view these other two documents see:

The Rouge River Watershed contains a total of seven subwatersheds that range in size between 19 and 89 square miles. Essentially all of the Rouge communities began to work together to develop the required subwatershed management plans under the provisions of the Michigan General Stormwater Permit. All of the subwatersheds followed the pattern discussed above on the Middle 1 in the formation of the individual SWAGs for the various subwatersheds. The seven SWAGs in the Rouge Watershed are as follows:

The SWAGs worked collaboratively with the local units of government and County agencies that have Certificates of Coverage under the watershed based General Storm Water Permit to:

  • develop and implement public participation plans,
  • establish short-term and long-term goals for protecting and/or restoring the River,
  • compile information on the nature and status of the subwatershed,
  • identify and agree on actions to be taken to achieve the short-term and long-term goals, and
  • assess management alternatives.

The SWAGs integrated all of this information into their subwatershed management plans in accordance with the requirements of the watershed based General Storm Water Permit and submitted the plans to MDEQ in May 2001. MDEQ reviewed the plans and provided comments to each SWAG. The individual SWAGs made changes as appropriate in their plans. The plans are available for viewing. The subwatershed management plans are now being implemented by the communities and agencies

See the Overview Description of Watershed Management in the Rouge Watershed for a more detailed discussion of subwatershed management planning in the Rouge Watershed.

Interactive Storm Water Management Areas Map


Last Updated: 8/6/2003

Please address all comments and suggestions about the contents of this Web page to rougeweb@co.wayne.mi.us.

The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -08 and C-264000-01.